Kevin Gleason, racing a Honda Civic TCR for the Swedish WestCoast Racing team, today became the first American driver to stand on the top step of the podium in an international touring car race with a lights-to-flag victory in Round 6 of the TCR International Series at the Salzburgring, Austria (31 May).
In a faultless drive, Gleason maintained a steady gap to his closest challenger, Stefano Comini, who was unable to challenge the driver from Johnstown, Pennsylvania over the course of the 15-lap race.
Gleason, who started from a hard-earned pole position, also delivered fastest lap for a clean sweep in the first of the day’s two races.
Race two would inevitably be a harder affair with a tenth place reversed grid starting position. However, Gleason’s job was made all the harder after being baulked at Turn 1 and relegated to the back of the pack.
Undeterred, the American, in his first season of Touring Car Racing set about a recovery drive moving through the field to recover to sixth position after some quality overtaking and again setting the fastest racing lap – his fourth in four starts.
As a result, Gleason leaves Austria joint fifth in the TCR International Series championship standings with a total of 127 points, having gained 38 points in the Austria.
He will subsequently carry 30kg of success ballast at the next round of the season in Sochi, Russia in three weeks’ time (20-21 June).